Marquetry Day Two

Today wasn’t much fun honestly.

I spent most of this morning sawing out the rest of the pieces of the first packet, and was really struggling to follow the line with the saw.

Besides the obvious difficulty of cutting on the line, there is the added challenge that as you cut around a section it becomes loose in the packet and you have to tape it back in place and support it as you go.  If you move the saw and any part isn’t adequately supported, the pieces break and shoot out the back.  Ask me how I know.  Luckily we’re able to balance the Joy of Sawing with the Thrill of Crawling on the Floor Looking for Broken Bits of Veneer.

The challenge this morning was mapping out how we’re going to cut out the central area of this project.  The parts have to stay in the packet after cutting to support the surrounding parts.  Without falling out, and without slipping between the other layers and getting re-cut as part of another line.  The order of cuts, turns and backtracks is carefully orchestrated.  Add in several strategic scotch tape reinforcement operations and you have a formula for a stunt that ranks up there with some bizarre yoga headstand.

We started with a strategy session on sawing, mapping out the direction and order of cuts.  The double-ended arrows indicate "traverses" where you cut past an intersection, then back up generally two intersections and cut around from the other direction.

We started with a strategy session on sawing, mapping out the direction and order of cuts. The double-ended arrows indicate “traverses” where you cut past an intersection, then back up generally two intersections and cut around from the other direction.

Sometimes the saw seems to have a mind of it’s own.  I’ll be right on the line, then I’ll be way off the line – just that fast.  It’s frustrating, I feel like a preschooler who wandered into college calculus.  In fact, it reminds me far too much of attending college calculus.  OK, first please integrate img55, then saw out some tiny parts from 1/28″ thick veneer using a blade that is .010″ thick.

Apparently the lines are just a suggested place for the saw blade to go...

Apparently the lines are just a suggested place for the saw blade to go…

After lunch we opened up our packets, prepared an assembly board and glued all of our misshapen bits of veneer face down onto some kraft paper.  I’m not sure what the next step is, hopefully soaking it in petroleum distillates and lighting it on fire.

We started in on our next next project, drawing our own faces by tracing a high contrast printout of a photograph.  I don’t like having my picture taken, so having to saw out a marquetry packet of my own image is some kind of sadistic double-whammy.  Hopefully tomorrow will go better.

Materials for the next project.  3mm backer board, 1.5mm front board and four contrasting pieces of veneer to make four portraits.  I'm not clear who would want one portrait of me, much less four, so I'm not sure I understand the point here.

Materials for the next project. 3mm backer board, 1.5mm front board and four contrasting pieces of veneer to make four portraits. I’m not clear who would want one portrait of me, much less four, so I’m not sure I understand the point here.

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5 thoughts on “Marquetry Day Two

  1. OK, that doesn’t sound like much fun at all. But I almost spewed my drink reading your post. At least you’re in San Diego .. that must be awesome? 😀

  2. Just remember…your paying for all this “fun”. Hang in there. Total immersion is a great way to build stress, er, I mean learn new skills. I had been checking my computer all evening waiting to hear about day two and you did not disappoint.

  3. Veronica

    So yeah, I’m with Marilyn: you sure did make a screwed up craft project funny. Perhaps next class should be stand up comedy? xoxo

  4. Let’s see – you’re playing guessing games, getting exercise, learning new math skills, getting to hopefully play with matches, and all before lunchtime. I can’t wait to read what happens in the afternoon and if you keep your sanity.

  5. So how did they ever manage without tape? I remember asking that when I took a basic veneering class. They used to do this without scotch tape, I kept telling myself, but it must have sucked… Hang in there!

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